20th anniversary of Morvern Callar

Alan Warner’s Morvern Callar, winner of the Somerset Maugham Award, is joining the Vintage Classics list to mark the novel’s twentieth anniversary.

Morvern Callar shows how the eponymous character, a young supermarket employee, reacts to the suicide of her strange boyfriend.

Other Scottish novels released as Vintage Classics at the same time (6 August) include the dark comedy Swing Hammer Swing! by Jeff Torrington, a tale of Hannah Luckraft’s quest for the ultimate altered state Paradise by A.L. Kennedy, a book described by the New York Times as bearing a resemblance to Tristram Shandy title The Trick is to Keep Breathing by Janice Galloway, and a tale of a narrator’s odd experiment The Dumb House by John Burnside.

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John Boyne to publish first short story collection

John Boyne’s first collection of short stories Beneath the Earth will be published on the 27 August.

The dark collection contains tales of secrets and loss, and features Rest Day, the story that won the 2015 Writing.ie Short Story of the Year award in Ireland.

Boyne’s other books range from a man who stops ageing to the affair between Edward VIII and Mrs Simpson to a magical toyshop. His most famous title The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas has sold 6 million copies worldwide, and was made into a movie starring Asa Butterfield as the main character Bruno the young son of a Nazi commandant. Boyne was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of East Anglia. His next children’s book The Boy at the Top of the Mountain will be released on the 1 October.

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Waterstones’ Murakami Pinball battle

Waterstones is celebrating the release of Murakami’s Wind/Pinball book with pinball machines in their London Piccadilly and Glasgow Sauchiehall Street stores.

Customers can share scores and photos on social media with the hashtag #murakamipinball. Players with the highest scores of each day will win a signed copy of Wind/Pinball.

The title includes Murakami’s first two novels, published as a reversible hardback, available for the first time in English outside Japan. The first story shows the narrator guzzling beer, smoking and pursuing a relationship with a girl with nine fingers, and the latter shows the narrator’s obsession with tracking down the exact model of the pinball machine, the three-flipper Spaceship, he played with in J’s Bar.

In April, Murakami was included in TIME’s 100 Most Influential People list with Yoko Ono commenting: “He deserves the honour. He is a writer of great imagination and human sympathy, one who has enthralled millions of readers by building fictional worlds that are uniquely his.”

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Jon Klassen’s I Want My Hat Back musical

The National Theatre are putting on a musical production of Jon Klassen’s hilarious children’s book I Want My Hat Back from the 12 November until the 2 January. Joel Horwood is writing the book and lyrics, and Arthur Darvill (plays Rev. Paul Coates in ITV hit drama series Broadchurch) is creating the music.

The story tracks bear’s search for his missing red hat, and how he gets it back with a vengeance.

The National Theatre describes the new stage version as “a joyous new adaptation stuffed with humour, music and surprises”.

Klassen wrote on his blog: “I’m freaking out over this a little bit” before adding that the National Theatre team are doing an “amazing job”.

Tickets are priced from £10 to £15.

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10th anniversary of Emily Gravett’s Wolves

10 Little Rabbits by Emily Gravett is included in the 10th anniversary paperback edition of Wolves.

10 Little Rabbits by Emily Gravett is included in the 10th anniversary paperback edition of Wolves.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Emily Gravett’s Wolves picture book, and to celebrate a new special edition paperback and hardback will be published on 30 July and the 8 October respectively.

In the story that won Gravett the Macmillan Prize for Illustration and the Kate Greenaway Medal, rabbit borrows a book about wolves from the library, and finds out some startling facts about the sinister, toothy creatures!

The anniversary paperback version will feature a little “cut out and construct” book called 10 Little Rabbits revealing why rabbit is so eager to discover more information about wolves.

And the hardback special edition has a wrap-around wolf jacket and a board game on the reverse side.

The anniversary paperback edition is priced at £7.99, and the hardback is £20.

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15th anniversary of Charlie and Lola

The National Trust is celebrating 15 years of Lauren Child’s first Charlie and Lola book with an exhibition of 50 original art works from Child’s personal collection at Mottisfont in Hampshire.

Visitors will also get the chance to see items that inspired Child’s tales like Lola’s pink milk glass, as well as her sketch books and one of the original sets from The Princess and the Pea. There will even be a special preview of Child’s new title Charlie and Lola: One Thing in which small and funny Lola is allowed to go to the shops and choose one treat.

Louise Govier, curator of the exhibition, said: “I think our visitors are going to love Lauren’s art. Many of them will know her characters already – they’re certainly firm favourites in my family – and it’s fascinating to see up close the illustrations created for her books. They are a wonderful blend of collage, pattern, line and paint, and full of quirky little details. I’ve also really enjoyed discovering works that I didn’t know – my new favourite is Trixie Twinkle-Toes, the pampered poodle who just wants to roll in the mud like other dogs. Her story is hilarious, and speaks to anyone who ever feels a bit constrained by the role they’re expected to play.”

Child won the Kate Greenaway Medal for I Will Not Ever NEVER Eat a Tomato, and has been awarded an MBE for services to literature. She has sold over 3 million books in 19 countries.

The Art of Lauren Child: Adventures with Charlie, Lola and Friends is open until the 6 September.

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Shirley Hughes wins Book Trust’s Lifetime Achievement Award

Shirley Hughes has become the first ever winner of the Book Trust’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Hughes has penned over seventy books including the much-loved Alfie series. She has won the Kate Greenaway Medal twice for Dogger in 1977 and Ella’s Big Chance in 2003. In 2007, the former was voted the public’s favourite Kate Greenaway Medal winner of all time. Hughes was awarded an OBE in 1999 for services to Children’s Literature, and has been called a “national treasure” by Northern Lights author Philip Pullman.

Diana Gerald, Book Trust CEO, commented: “Book Trust is thrilled that our first ever Lifetime Achievement Award goes to someone whose remarkable, multi-talented contribution to children’s fiction spans several generations and continues to this day. Her characters are imprinted on the memories of two or three generations, a recognition of their enduring charm. This evergreen storytelling is something we particularly want to celebrate with this award.

Significantly, Shirley continues to innovate and create, providing young children with a love of reading that we know will give them a great start in life. We often hear about ‘national treasures’, but Shirley Hughes is up there with the best.”

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